August 19, 2013
Suzuka Circuit, Mie-pref. (August 18, 2013) - Sunday, August 18: After a three-week interval since Round 4, Suzuka Circuit (Suzuka city, Mie prefecture) played host to Round 5 of SUPER GT, where the #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Masataka Yanagida/Ronnie Quintarelli) started from pole position and went on to finish in 2nd place. The #12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R reached the goal in fourth position, elevating the car to 2nd in the points' rankings.
#23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R
Masataka Yanagida / Ronnie Quintarelli
Weather conditions remained good throughout the weekend at Suzuka. On Sunday, cloud cover in the morning gave way to sunny skies as the start approached. The race got underway at 12:30 under a cloudless summer sky with the ambient temperature standing at 32 degrees Celsius, while the track was measured at 50 degrees.
Having taken GT500 pole in the previous day's official qualifying session, Ronnie Quintarelli drove the opening stint in the #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R, protecting his lead in the opening laps. Later however, his pace dropped, allowing the #18 HSV-010 and #36 SC430 to get past. The team quickly changed its strategy and shortened the initial stint, bringing the car in for its first pit stop on lap 29. Yanagida got behind the wheel and raced tenaciously, so that when all cars had completed their routine stops, the #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R was running sixth. Yanagida continued until lap 65, making it possible to run to the original four-stop, five-stint plan. Immediately after Quintarelli got back in the car, the Safety Car (SC) was called out. At this point, a lot of other machines made stops, throwing the running order into disarray and elevating Quintarelli to 2nd position. When the SC was called out, the #1 REITO MOLA GT-R (Satoshi Motoyama/Yuhi Sekiguchi) stood in 1st position, but the car was delayed after being penalized for the timing of their pit stop. This allowed Quintarelli to successfully return to the top spot, but after handing over to Yanagida, light contact with a GT300 machine caused a drop in pace and the #18 HSV-010 to get past. However, they held on to finish in 2nd place.
Meanwhile, having qualified 11th, the #12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda/Joao Paolo de Oliveira) raced steadily from the start. After getting into a points-paying position on the opening lap, they gradually moved up the order. They had a trouble-free routine pit stop just as the SC was deployed, moving up to fourth place in one fell swoop, before advancing to third when the #1 GT-R slowed. The #12 GT-R continued to guard its third place until at Spoon Curve on lap 171, oil on track saw the car briefly run wide due to the slippery surface. They nevertheless finished in the top four, adding 18 championship points and securing 2nd place in the points' table, right behind the championship-leading #23 GT-R.
The #1 REITO MOLA GT-R (Satoshi Motoyama/Yuhi Sekiguchi) started the race in ninth place, Motoyama handing over to Sekiguchi after the opening stint. When the SC was called out, Motoyama brought the car into the lead, but the team was judged to have made a pit stop timing violation and was handed a 90-second stop-and-go penalty. This dropped the #1 GT-R well down the order, though a strong pace throughout the race meant they had climbed back to eighth by the flag. Meanwhile, the #24 D'station ADVAN GT-R (Hironobu Yasuda/Michael Krumm) made advances from their 13th-place starting position, only for the car to drop out of the race due to mechanical problems.
A total of four Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 machines contested the GT300 class, among them the 2nd-place-starting #3 S Road NDDP GT-R (Kazuki Hoshino/Daiki Sasaki/Lucas Ordonez), which finished ninth.
NISMO Team Director Yutaka Suzuki's comment:
“2nd place is a good result, and it puts us in the lead in terms of points - but having started on pole after considerable effort, we had a clear aim in the race - so honestly speaking, it is regrettable. We also had to conserve fuel, and that was severe. The timing of the final pit stop was exactly the same as the #18 and the team did a perfect job, but we needed a little more. Looking ahead to the next round at Fuji, we'll have some new aero parts and will do our best to increase the gap over our rivals. Thank you for your support.”
#23 GT-R driver Masataka Yanagida's comment:
“The first pit stop was a little earlier than planned, so that was tough, but the timing of the SC worked in our favor. Today's result was because the team returned to the original plan, making four stops - although that stop was a little early. However, when the #18 car got past at Spoon Curve, I felt I was being too pushy; I should have been a little more patient. Today's race was not perfect. I think I should try harder next time.”
#23 GT-R driver Ronnie Quintarelli's comment:
“When I first got in the car, the tire grip became really tight, so we needed to make a pit stop as soon as possible. That was tough on our fuel economy and we needed to save fuel. I had no problems with the tires in the other two stints. It is amazing that we are standing in 1st place in the points. 2nd place in today's race is a great result. Since the car and the tires still have more potential, I want to fight hard in the second half of the season, starting with Fuji, despite what will be a heavy weight handicap.”
|Pos||No||Machine||Driver||Time / Behind|
|1||18||Weider Modulo HSV-010||Naoki Yamamoto
|2||23||MOTUL AUTECH GT-R||Masataka Yanagida
|3||36||PETRONAS TOM'S SC430||Kazuki Nakajima
|4||12||CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R||Tsugio Matsuda
Joao Paulo De Oliveira
|5||37||KeePer TOM'S SC430||Daisuke Ito
|6||19||WedsSport ADVAN SC430||Seiji Ara
|7||17||KEIHIN HSV-010||Koudai Tsukakoshi
|8||1||REITO MOLA GT-R||Satoshi Motoyama
|9||39||DENSO KOBELCO SC430||Juichi Wakisaka
|10||100||RAYBRIG HSV-010||Takuya Izawa
|-||24||D'station ADVAN GT-R||Hironobu Yasuda
|Pos||No||Machine||Driver||Time / Behind|
|1||61||SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT||Tetsuya Yamano
|2||52||OKINAWA-IMP SLS||Hironori Takeuchi
|3||62||LEON SLS||Haruki Kurosawa
|9||3||S Road NDDP GT-R||Kazuki Hoshino
|16||48||DIJON Racing GT-R||Hiroshi Takamori
|17||30||IWASAKI OGT Racing GT-R||Yuki Iwasaki
|19||5||MACH GoGoGo SHAKEN GT-R||Tetsuji Tamanaka